Climate change is perhaps the most significant threat facing our planet today. It poses severe threats to food security, coastal and rural communities, and economies as a whole. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Egypt, where the Nile Delta—the country’s fertile breadbasket—is facing water scarcity, increased soil salinity and rising sea levels. Economic sectors across the country, from agriculture and fishing to tourism and manufacturing, are all being forced to adjust to dwindling resources and harsh new realities. Not to mention the toll on human health and wellbeing.
In 2016, world leaders came together to ratify the Paris Agreement, a pact sponsored by the United Nations to unite countries in the fight against Climate Change. A call to action has been issued for governments, business leaders, investors and communities to forge new partnerships to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.
EFG Hermes believes it is vital for leading financial institutions to make a firm commitment to the sustainable development goals and to the support of Climate Change mitigation efforts. Investors around the globe are increasingly aware that environmental risk has become a major factor affecting the future of their investments. As the foremost provider of financial solutions for retail, high-net-worth and institutional clients across MENA and Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), EFG Hermes recognizes its influence and role in minimizing portfolio exposure to environmental risk while also identifying opportunities that actively contribute to reducing emissions and shifting to a low-carbon global economy.
Since 2011, EFG Hermes has been on a resolute journey to integrate sustainability into all aspects of its operation and corporate culture. From joining the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to becoming a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, we have made it a priority to take purposeful and deliberate steps to continuously strengthen our commitment to sustainability in tandem with corporate growth. The time has now come to turn our attention more fully to Climate Change issues. The following highlights our key areas of engagement:
EFG Hermes is committed to expanding its environment, social and governance (ESG) policy, adopted in 2017, to more specifically address Climate Change considerations.
EFG Hermes is committed to expanding its responsible investments, particularly in the area of clean and renewable energy, while at the same time continuing to offer attractive returns for shareholders and investors. Concomitantly, we are introducing training modules to improve the ability of our investment professionals to recognize climate risk and identify sustainable market opportunities. We are also committed to helping our clients limit their exposure to environmental risk utilizing our award-winning research capabilities and our in-depth knowledge of on-the-ground conditions in environmentally vulnerable FEMs.
EFG Hermes is committed to continuing to minimize our carbon footprint across our premises worldwide and to expanding our initiatives to conserve energy, minimize waste and increase the efficiency of our supply chain.
EFG Hermes is committed to encouraging and promoting the acceptance and implementation of Climate Change measures within the investment industry by engaging with peers, government agencies and the wider community through several forums. On an internal level, EFG Hermes continues to engage with employees to prioritize Climate Change considerations.
EFG Hermes, through its philanthropic arm, the EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development, is committed to incorporating Climate Change mitigation measures in its integrated development initiatives in rural Egypt and elsewhere.
EFG Hermes realizes that a commitment to Climate Change mitigation brings with it profound challenges and responsibilities, but we cannot afford to be complacent. We have responsibilities towards our shareholders, towards the communities where we do business, and, most of all, towards future generations. There is still much to do but we look forward to meeting each challenge head-on.